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Dathlu menywod STEM TrC - Pennaeth Rhaglenni Digidol, Helen Mitchell

09 Feb 2024

As we celebrate this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we hear from Head of Digital Programmes Helen Mitchell on her role at TfW.

Helen Mitchell

Helen’s team have recently been included on the shortlist for the Transport Ticketing Global awards for their work with leading technology company Vix for new gateline technology, which is improving the retail and ticketing experience for TfW customers. In 2022 Helen's team won the Digital Champion award at the same event for the TfW Customer App.

Helen says:

Transport and technology is a very exciting industry and a great place for a woman to have an amazing career. I look back and feel very privileged at what I have achieved and the many places it has taken me to.

I started my career over 20 years ago in transport and technology by finding a very niche project and that led me on to great opportunities. It was difficult to start with, I was a woman in a male dominated industry, but it’s not the same now. I wasn’t afraid to ask questions and I put the time in to understand the industry.

From a young age I always had an interest in Geography, but more the physical side such as volcanology, tectonics, and weather systems.  I originally wanted to study Meteorology at University, but it was very competitive, so I settled on Geography and computer science instead.

My fascination with all things tectonics and volcanology interest me to this day and I have visited several active volcanoes across the world.

In terms of what I do now from a geography perspective, the movement of people and computer science have come in very handy.

Before joining TfW, I worked in Scotland for five years as a contractor at ScotRail implementing a diverse programme of projects. Prior to that I took to the high seas and worked for Caledonian MacBrayne(CalMac Ferries) managing projects across ticketing and commercial.

I’ve worked in Wales since June 2018 when I was asked to join Keolis’ mobilisation team for the franchise transition that would be happening in October 2018.  I was on the IT team leading on customer facing technology.

Once the franchise transitioned, I was asked to stay on and lead of the digital transformation of IT. I became a permanent employee for TfW in April 2021.

Broad and diverse portfolio

Each day in my role is different as I have a very broad and diverse portfolio of programmes and projects.  I’m the escalation point for any issues,  problems  and challenges the team maybe experiencing in their delivery of the projects. 

TfW is very ambitious when it comes to IT and Digital Transformation.  This role has allowed me and my teams to introduce and deliver several new solutions to the transport industry, breaking the cycle of using solutions which don’t provide value for money or improve the customer proposition.

TfW has a can-do attitude - we are an ambitious and forward-thinking organisation. After working for several Transport Operators and Transport Authorities over the years, this is really refreshing.

Getting a great outcome

I love challenge. I have lots of challenges in my role every day and can cope very well with unexpected situations. I’m a thinker and often need time to have a bit of space to try to pull apart a technical problem to get to the route cause.

What I love about a challenge is working it thorough with like-minded people and teams, and getting a great outcome.

The teams within TfW have been fantastic to work with, very knowledgeable and passionate about what they do.


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